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We had just driven over 1100 miles to see my grandmother one last time. We didn’t know when she was going to die, but her dementia was stealing her from us just as certainly as death would one day in the future. I’ll remember that visit for years to come for many reasons, but one of them is the day we danced in the kitchen.
Wisdom From Generations Past
We were all packed into my grandmother’s little kitchen: myself, my husband, my grandmother, and our (then) three children playing on the floor at our feet. We visited around the little table I’d spent my entire life sitting at with her. She didn’t know we were family, but she appreciated our nice visit. It was bittersweet.
I could smell the coffee she and my husband were drinking, hear the birds in the yard and the old music on the radio, and feel my heart breaking even as it rejoiced that we had one more day together before we would say goodbye for the very last time. As I got up to refill my glass of water, my husband stood up and grabbed me. He began a silly dance to an old big band song that had come on.
I fell in love with him all over in that instant. As I looked into his eyes, all of the bittersweetness of the moment fell away and all I felt was love and joy. As he spun me away and caught me back, I remember throwing my head back and laughing. I felt like the young, carefree college girl he had wooed once upon a time.
When the song was over, I grabbed my water and sat back down at the table. My grandmother’s eyes were sparkling, her hands were clasped together in front of her heart, and she was beaming. “Young lady, never let go of a man that will dance with you in the kitchen!” Words to live by. You could see in her eyes the memories that were flooding her heart of the many times my grandfather had done something similar with her throughout their 50+ years together.
Marry the Man that Will Dance with You in the Kitchen
Before I settled down with my husband, I interacted with many young men. But my man stood out, head and shoulders above them all. He is the only one who would have ever danced with me in the kitchen.
He is the one who forgave freely, who loved lavishly, who laughed often, and who gave selflessly. But above and beyond all of those things, he was the one who loved Jesus more than he loved me. That is the foundation of our marriage.
If you aren’t already married, hold out for the man who loves Jesus more than anything else and who will dance with you in the kitchen. This man is a keeper. Of course, not all men are the same. My dancing in the kitchen may translate to your being given a bouquet of wildflowers or receiving a silly gift. But I think you get what I mean.
However, what do you do if you’re already married and that’s just not going to happen?
Be the Woman He Wants to Dance With
There have been many times we’ve danced together in the kitchen since then. And seasons when it’s a noticeably absent part of our lives. I’ve come to stop lamenting the change in my husband, and start praying about the changes in me that have brought us to those seasons.
I want to be the woman who inspires him to dance in the kitchen. And I dare you to be that woman for your husband, too.
Who is that woman? She is the woman who laughs at his jokes, who thanks him for his hard work, who kisses him when he walks by on the way to deal with a screaming toddler, who isn’t too tired for romance at the end of a long week, and who prays for him daily. She is the woman who falls in love him all over again and remembers to take time out of life to date him.
Be the Wife of His Youth & Rediscover One Another
Listen, friend, I get that time has made the young girl you once were fade in reality. But I promise you, she’s alive and well in his memories. Proverbs 5:18 admonishes men to take delight in the wife of their youth; be that wife for your man.
He still remembers who you were before all of the financial struggles, the sleepless nights walking the baby, the gray hairs inspired by parenting teenagers, and the stress of running a household took their toll. And if you think he’s forgotten? Pray for God to bring her back to his mind, even as you bring her back to life.
Let’s be the woman he wants to dance with.
And help him be the man who will dance with you. Back when you first fell in love, it’s likely that there were fewer stresses and responsibilities than exist in your marriage today. It was easier to be carefree and take a twirl around the kitchen together.
Don’t forget to set aside those stresses and set the responsibilities, even just for a few moments a day. Spend unfettered time together, just being the two people who fell madly in love once upon a time. Remind yourself what you adored about him; relive in your heart those first moments. And then put those feelings into actions and woo your man all over again!
Let Today be the Day
Marriage is for a lifetime, but the only way to get there is one day at a time. The only thing that is certain about today is that, should our Lord continue to wait to return, it will pass. And once it’s gone, you can never get that time back.
So let today be the one you look back on with a secret smile in your heart as the day you danced in the kitchen. Smile at your husband, flirt with him, ignore the gagging sounds of children and kiss him…and be the woman with whom he wants to dance in the kitchen!
We’ve danced in the kitchen a few times since that day. And each time it has been etched deeply into my heart. I can hear my grandmother admonishing me to never let him go, and I can feel the foundation of our marriage strengthening each time because it reminds me of how much I love him.
In fact, the next time we danced in the kitchen was a very hard day for me. Some things had happened, as they are wont to do, and I felt like I didn’t even have the strength to move on. On that day, it was a slow dance. He pulled me into his arms, prayed with me, and rocked me side to side. In that moment, I knew I would make it because I could lean on him. That dance also knit our hearts together more deeply.
Not every dance will be carefree and beautiful. Some will be slow and healing. Others will be choreographed and routine. But dance them together.